As we approach our study in Romans chapter 6 let us first briefly review chapters 1-5. In short, Paul teaches that from the beginning we as a human race have repeatedly rejected our Creator.
So God turned us loose to reap the consequences of our sinful pursuits. Therefore Paul concludes that we were without hope on the highway to hell.
But God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to live a perfect life, die on a cross and be raised from the Dead. Christ’s life fulfilled the law, His death atoned for our sin and His resurrection gives us life. Amen!
Next Paul explains that, as individuals, God holds us all personally responsible for placing our faith in Jesus Christ that we may receive His grace. When we receive God’s grace we are justified in the court of God.
The word “To Justify” in the Greek language is a legal term that means to be pardoned of all guilt. Therefore God now sees us just as if we have never sinned; all our sins are forgiven; past, present and future.
When we are justified we receive the Holy Spirit which regenerates us and makes us spiritually alive whereas before we were spiritually dead. This mystical change that happens in a person’s life is referred to as the new birth.
Jesus says that the evidence of this new birth cannot be seen at the point of transaction but will manifest itself through the works of the believer (John 3:8).
Meaning, those faculties that were formerly dead to God are now alive to God. Our eyes which could not see God’s love now marvel at its beauty and depth, our ears which could not receive God’s love now rejoice in its truth, our feet which were fearful to run into God’s presence now eagerly make haste to Him, our mouths which previously blasphemed God now praise Him.
Now in Chapter 6 Paul practically addresses the subject of new life. Let me first point out that this new life is in stark contrast to the old life. So let’s reprise the old life so we can then see the contrast with that of the new life.
The old life was characterized by fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. What often began as innocent adolescent fun quickly spun out of control.
We abused drugs and alcohol, were sexually promiscuous, lied, manipulated, used profanity, lusted for money, power and fame; the worlds trinity.
So should the new life be characterized by sin or holiness or a little bit of both? Can I indulge in some sins but refrain from others? Won’t God forgive me of my sins no matter how much I sin?
For many they simply don’t know the answers to these questions. So they attend church and hope to be enlightened on Sunday mornings to no avail. Next, they flock to Christian book stores and buy books entitled “The Purpose Driven Life” or your “Best life Now” which only leads to more confusion.
Sadly some become so frustrated that they give up on the Church all together and isolate themselves from corporate worship and accountability.
Maybe this is you today and so therefore what you really need is to hear from God Himself. So let us now turn to the truth of the Bible and to the life giving Word of the Spirit for our instruction and wisdom.
For Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, teaches that the law of God (Ten Commandments) was added to make man accountable for his sin but where man’s sin abounded God’s grace abounded much more. It was Paul’s intent to elevate the blessed doctrine of grace in the sight of his readers not to license them to sin more.
Paul, anticipating his critics argument, addresses this issue by asking the question, “Should we continue to sin so that grace may abound?” Let me now ask the same question while adding truths about our new identity in Christ.
“Should we, who have freely received God’s grace and therefore the forgiveness of sin and are now called children of God, continue to live in sin which is completely contrary to the nature of our Father in Heaven who Himself is Holy, Just, Righteous, The Light, in whom there is no darkness at all?” The answer: A resounding no!
Paul believes this thought to be so reprehensible that he condemns it by using the strongest possible negative response in the Greek language! His answer in the NASB, “May it never be.” The KJV translates “God forbid,” and the ESV “By No Means.”
Lesson number one: We who have been born again of the Holy Spirit and therefore now identify our lives by the name of Jesus Christ can NOT continue to sin (Disobey God’s Word) as a pattern of life. I admit this lesson is simple but may we also agree that it is very profound.
More to come…
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